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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

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development of the young depends. It attaches too great impor-
tance to the particular apparatus which Dr. Montessori herself
has devised. But withal it has had a most stimulating effect both
directly and indirectly over the whole field of education, notably
in the teaching of basic subjects like reading and counting, and in
art instruction.

One of its most important offshoots is the Dalton Plan, which
has the merit of enabling individual methods to be carried into
the work of the secondary school. This Plan was the invention
of Miss Helen Parkhurst, an American disciple of Dr. Montessori.
Its distinctive features are these: (i) Class rooms are replaced by
subject rooms. Each subject has a room to itself with library.*
apparatus, and a specialized teacher in charge to direct the work
of the pupils in the particular subject, (z) The work is arranged
in a number of assignments. The ground to be covered in the
course of the year in each subject at each stage is marked out in
sections which the average pupil may be expected to traverse in
a month's time, and these again are subdivided into weekly and
even daily parts. The assignments are drawn up so as to prescribe
study and exercises in definite units. (3) The pupils sign a
contract undertaking to do the work of the monthly assignment
in their several subjects, and thereafter are left free to study these
subjects in the order and to the extent that pleases them best, so
long as they accomplish the whole undertaking in reasonable
time. (4) The progress of the pupils in the subjects of the assign-
ment is kept in view of both pupils and teachers by a system of
simple graphs which show the number of units of work done at
a particular time in each subject and in all subjects. (5) In the
most consistently individual forms of the Plan there are no
special times set apart for class teaching. Groups are gathered
together occasionally when a number of pupils are held up by
the same difficulty. But part of the day m*y be set apart for
class teaching in subjects like the languages where group work
has been found of special value.

One sphere in which the individual ideal has found fresh
expression is the teaching of art. The most outstanding exponent,
among many, of the principle and practice of freedom in art has
been Professor Cizek of Vienna. Cizek is distrustful of authori-
tative influences of any kind on the child-artist. In words
reminiscent of the Eighteenth Century he declares that it would